Stories about girls

#AskThicke crossed all Blurred Lines

 “I hate these blurred lines. I know you want it. I know you want it.” The song that took social media by storm is undoubtedly catchy. As I hummed it, I was oblivious to the fact that the lyrics would create such a social media uproar and spark controversy all over the world, making it one of the most frequently played songs of the decade and promoting Robin Thicke to surpass all boundaries of fame or notoriety. For a long time, I wasn’t aware of what all the fuss was about. To me, Blurred Lines was just another song. The song introduced ...

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Overcoming adversity and reopening schools in Swat

As one travels, on the highway, from Peshawar to Swat, the lush green fields, dotted with tall poplar trees, appear breath-taking, and gradually the silhouette of the mountains become visible. The low-lying mountains gain height and the sound of water springs, gushing from the crevices of rocks create a melancholic music. Photo: Sameera Rashid   On a winding road from the Chakdara to Mingora, people are seen crossing the clear waters of river Swat, on makeshift bridges, and plum trees with delicate pink flowers bloom on the roadside orchids. Photo: Sameera Rashid Not only does Swat cast its ...

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Elliot Rodger: A product of the US government’s incompetence?

“You don’t think it’ll happen to your child, until it does.” This is what Richard Martinez stated in a press conference, despairing over the loss of his 20-year-old son, Christopher Martinez. A deranged individual – Elliot Rodger – who sought revenge from female university students for rejecting him, instigated a ruthless shooting spree on the streets of California, killing six people in cold blood, before committing suicide himself. To the sons and daughters of the ill-fated families, may their souls rest in eternal peace. These victims were unreasonably deprived of their right to live; they were killed without any reason. And their ...

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The West may have to intervene to #BringBackOurGirls

The social media campaign to bring back over 200 school girls, kidnapped by Nigeria’s Boko Haram, has helped draw a lot of global attention to the activities of this vicious organisation. The campaign has help put some pressure on world leaders to act and assist Nigeria in the fight against this militant group. The United States, the United Kingdom and France have offered to help. However, the prospect of western intervention on this matter is generating a lot of debate. There are concerns that such an intervention could turn Nigeria into another Afghanistan. The issue here is this: what is the alternative to ...

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‘Beautiful Teen Boys of Pakistan’: A chance for us to introspect

There are many evils on this earth and our country has its fair share. Since our childhood, we have heard a countless number of disturbing stories – stories about little girls beaten to death by angry employers; the youngest daughter of a poor farmer being ‘taken’ by a cruel landlord only because her father failed to pay his debts; a young boy molested by his teacher in primary school; girls traded for money, women raped by beasts in the guise of aamils. And the list goes on. While female writers – including myself – are more sensitive towards issues of their own gender ...

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Girl talk: Why do women hate other women?

For as far back as I can remember most fights I had were with girls. In high school, I was okay to know I didn’t have many girls by my side, aside from the select one or two I had decided to be loyal to, protect and love till the end of our lives. Quite aptly, I was honoured at our Oscar’s themed farewell dinner in 11th grade; my title read “Bring it on”. A conversation with four colleagues reminded me of those years. They seemed to be in swift agreement when it came to deciding one thing about women- they hated each other. Sure, ...

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Male sexual abuse: A myth or fact?

There is a common myth about sexual abuse. Many people believe that boys cannot be abused and even if they are, they argue that sexual abuse is less harmful to boys than to girls. This myth also implies that boys and men cannot be sexually abused because they are better able to protect themselves. Men are not considered vulnerable – psychically or emotionally. However, one must understand that boys are not men; they are mere children who are as defenceless as girls and can too be weak whence trying to protect themselves against predators. According to the Rozan Annual Report 2011-12 2,303 children were abused ...

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Happy-ending massage parlours: When filth comes to Karachi DHA

Massage is taken as a therapy to relieve stress and rejuvenate the mind and body after a day’s hectic routine. In our society a “maalishi” is considered a magician who can instantly relieve you of your knots and spasms. However, since the last five to six years we have witnessed a mushroom growth of salons offering different kinds of massages ranging from neck and shoulder to full body Thai massages. Besides the high end spas, a relatively recent entrant in this market, are “massage parlours” operating in certain commercial areas of DHA and Clifton. Out of curiosity, I did ...

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About a time when friends were real and life was simple

One of the most vivid memories from my early teen years is of my best friend at that time and me, sitting outside his building near the pavement, drinking  Coke and eating sandwiches. I used to take a cab from my house to his and then we would sit outside on our usual spot and talk. We used to talk about nothing in particular and yet, we had so much to say; so many ambitions, dreams, goals, small and big challenges, love affairs, infatuations and yes, personal philosophies and beliefs (even at that age) to share with each other. We were ...

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‘Halal’ education in Pakistan: When ‘pig’ in a nursery rhyme is taboo

As certain words and concepts in English are out of their range of experience, my students, coming from an underprivileged background, find it difficult to understand or accept them. With English nursery rhymes for example, since Jack was remiss enough to break his crown, the girls thought he and Jill were king and queen, until I explained otherwise.  Humpty Dumpty on the other hand continues to be viewed with deep distrust, however much I pleaded his cause. It isn’t, after all, normal to be an egg person. The resultant doubt of his being quite kosher creates a degree of disquiet. If ever Humpty wanders ...

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